Digital Re-enchantment: Place, Writing & Technology
Date: Saturday 11th June 2016
Time: 10.30am – 5.00pm
Location: Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow SK17 8RH
Tickets: £20 (Catering/lunch and some transport included)
In Landmarks (2015) the celebrated landscape writer, Robert Macfarlane, expresses his anxiety for the way that technology “has bequeathed to us an inadequate and unsatisfying relationship with the natural world, and with ourselves too”. In what ways, though, might digital technologies enhance and enrich our relationships with the places in which we live and the spaces through which we move? How have landscape writers drawn upon digital technologies in their own exploratory creative practices? This informal symposium will bring together a diverse range of speakers – including writers, literary critics, a leading publisher, and a creative entrepreneur – to explore the imaginative possibilities and problems presented by different digital technologies. The symposium will begin with an introduction to the British Library’s ‘Poetic Places’ app; the following panels will then focus on the experimental use of Twitter as a literary space and explore the creative ways digital technologies have been used to reimagine the Peak District. The symposium will be followed by a special evening of poetic performance - organised in partnership with the Sheffield-based Longbarrow Press - at the Old Hall, Buxton (see the following page for more details). Together, these events will explore whether digital technologies can, for writers and readers, facilitate a re-enchantment with the world.
Speakers and contributors include:
- Clare Archibald (Writer) @archieislander
- David Borthwick (University of Glasgow) @BorthwickDave
- Sarah Cole (TIME/IMAGE & Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the British Library) @iRNY @time_image @poetic_places
- David Cooper (Manchester Metropolitan University) @DrDavidCooper
- Brian Lewis (Longbarrow Press) @LongBarrowPress
- Emma Bolland (Artist and Writer) @emmaZbolland
This event will also include a poetry reading in the evening. Tickets for this are free and can be booked here: digital-reenchantment-poetry-reading.eventbrite.com
This event will include a live Twitter-based creative writing project via #enchantthepeak
In what ways might digital technologies enhance and enrich our relationships with the places in which we live and the spaces through which we move? How have place writers drawn upon digital technologies in their own exploratory creative practices? ‘Digital Re-enchantment’ is a special event – being held in the Peak District on Saturday, 11 June - which will bring together leading writers, publishers, artists and academics to explore the relationship between place, writing and digital technologies.
As part of this special event, which forms part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Humanities in Public programme, we would love YOU to help us to put together a creative digital map of the Peak District. That is to say, we’d like you to invite you to take a photograph of ANY aspect of the Peak District which catches your eye – from the escarpment of Stanage Edge to the back-streets of Bakewell - and to post that image to Twitter using the hashtag #enchantthepeak
Taking inspiration from the innovative ways in which one of our speakers, Clare Archibald (@archislander), uses Twitter to celebrate landscape and environment, we’d also like to invite you to come up with a single word to place alongside that image. The word could be descriptive, poetic or even surreal: it’s totally up to you! All of the contributions will be brought together, though, to put together a new cultural map of the Peak District which celebrates the creative potential and power of the devices which so many of us carry in our pockets as we walk through the area.
In short, then, this is what we’d invite you to do:
- 1. Take a photo of where you are in the Peak District – anything you see is relevant!
- 2. Sum it up in one word
- 3. Tag with #enchantthepeak
- 4. Tweet!
Everyone (whether attending or not) is invited to take part.
The Nightingale Centre can offer paid accommodation for Friday and Saturday night to attendees of the symposium, contact Helen Darby on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
We're delighted to announce an addition to the programme. On Sunday, 12 June, Jonathan Porter (Countryscape and President of the International Association for Landscape Ecology) will lead an interactive walk from the Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow in which we further discuss the (cultural) landscapes of the Peak District. We will leave the Centre at 10am and will return at 1pm. Please let us know if you'd like to join us for this walk as numbers are limited; and please remember to bring decent footwear and waterproofs! Please contact Helen Darby at email@example.com to register your place.
The Nightingale Centre is located near the village of Great Hucklow, in the Peak District. The nearest train staion is Hope. As part of this event, we will be offering a taxi shuttle service which will meet the trains from Sheffield (Departs 9.14am arriving Hope at 9.39am) and Manchester Piccadilly (Departs 8.49am arriving Hope 9.40am). Costs of the taxi shuttle are included in the event ticket price (train fare is not included). We will offer a similar taxi shuttle service back to Hope at the conclusion of the event. We will also offer a free coach to Buxton for the poetry event. You are of course free to make your own transport arrangements (such travel arrangements to be at your own expense).
Great Hucklow is situated just off the B6049, north of the A623 (Stockport to Chesterfield road), near Tideswell. From Chesterfield take the A619. From Manchester and Stockport take the A6. From Sheffield take the A625. For Sat Nav use SK17 8RH. There is ample free parking at the Centre. Note that the car park is at the rear of the centre and accessed via the entrance opposite the Old Chapel.
From Manchester and Stockport there is a regular service to Buxton. From the east the connection is via Chesterfield or Sheffield (15 miles) or Hope (4 miles) Connections can be made by bus (see below) or taxI (see below).
There are regular bus services running through the village. Timetables vary according to the season. Please check availability via Traveline East Midlands 0871 200 2233 or the useful website www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk
Taxis are usually available at Sheffield, Chesterfield and Buxton stations. From Hope station (4 miles from the Centre) taxis for both ways need to be booked in advance. 2Nice Taxis are able to transport able or disabled people. You can contact them via 01298 212352 or 07917 710771.
Convened by Dr David Cooper, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University
David is a Senior Lecturer in English whose teaching and research focuses on the literature of space, place and landscape. He has published widely on contemporary poetry, digital literary mapping and the cultural landscapes of the Lake District. He is also a founding co-editor of the open access journal Literary Geographies.
Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to disability equality. If you have any access requirements, please let us know via 0161 247 6710 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before you arrive to help us to make sure that your visit to the event is as enjoyable as possible.
All details correct at time of publishing. We reserve the right to make changes to the programme and schedule as necessary.
Illustration: Nature and Technology by Naomi Morris (watercolour and pen 21x29.7cm) www.cargocollective.co.uk/naomimorrisillustration